“Jennie, if I were twenty years younger, I’d be chasing you all over town. But I’m too old for that and just want to have the joy of giving you a very special summer,” he told me. “You have gotten the short end of the stick in lots of ways, but you get up every morning and work every day to improve the lives of not only your kids, but all the kids you teach. You are a beautiful person and have the opportunity to get back a little of what you have given.”
I finally started to doze off when I heard the owl. I woke back up not with a startle, but with a happiness for having heard it. I listened to it for the next ten minutes or so. Thoughts bounced back and forth- from the owl to what had transpired that day with my bosses. That symbol of wisdom was right outside my bedroom somewhere, seeing in the dark, looking down on everything around it. It was confirmation that I was on the right path, even though I have no idea what path that is.
I was so ready to build a future, to move on and away from trauma, to be free and to be a grown-up that I allowed myself to ignore all kinds of warnings, and to consciously convince myself that this person would bring stability to my life. I threw all my eggs into that unstable basket.
I might suffer impostor syndrome in my career, but I have never doubted that I am the best person to be raising my children.
The reality is that I’m still angry and I suck at pretending. Women coming out of bad marriages need to find their strength, and that strength might only come by hanging onto some anger.
I had long ago bought into the idea that smart choices would lead to a happy, fulfilling life. Turns out it was all bullshit.
I thought somehow that rules were made by wise people who knew best, and didn’t realize until way late that most of them are just a form of mob rule.